Friday, June 28, 2013

Under the Covers: Time is On My Side by The Rolling Stones and Irma Thomas

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones released Time Is On My Side as a single in the US on September 26, 1964, their 4th US single. The number quickly ascended the charts and peaked at #6, their first top ten hit in the US. Two versions were actually recorded, the US single version and a later, better version that was included on the LPs. This version is the second.
Irma Thomas
Just three months prior to The Rolling Stones releasing Time Is On My Side, New Orleans soul singer, Irma Thomas recorded the Jerry Ragavoy (under the pseudonym Norman Meade) number for Imperial Records. It appeared as the Flip-Side to her 11th single, which reached only #52 on the charts. 

Enjoy. We'll see you next time On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Under The Covers: Do Wah Diddy Diddy by Manfred Mann and The Exciters

Manfred Mann
Here today we have one of the most recognizable songs known to man. The impossibly infections, ridiculously timeless, Do Wah Diddy Diddy as performed by Manfred Mann. The band was Paul Jones on vocals, Mike Hugg, Manfred Mann, Tom McGuness and Mike Vickers. The Manfred's recorded the number on June 11, 1964. The HMV Records single hit the number 1 spot on the UK charts in August and held on for 2 weeks as the top seller. In the US, the single was released on Ascot in late August and slowly climbed its way to the number 1 spot on the US charts in early October. Is stayed atop the charts for 2 straight weeks. Not bad. But, it is not a Manfred Mann original. It was a cover of...
The Exciters
...a song by US soul group, The Exciters. The Exciters were Brenda Reid, Herb Rooney, Carolyn Johnson and Lilian Walker. They had already hit gold with their hit Tell Him when they recorded the Tin Pan Alley composition, Do Wah Diddy Diddy and released it on United Artists in November of 1963. The Exciters version fell pretty flat in the US.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Under The Covers: Come See Me by The Pretty Things and J.J. Jackson

The Pretty Things
We have an odd twist on today's Under The Covers. That's because the "cover" was published before the "original." Come See Me is perhaps The Pretty Things' single greatest recording (with apologies to Rosalyn and Midnight To Six Man). The Pretty Things released the pounding number in April of 1966 for Fontana Records.
J.J. Jackson
Come See Me was written in part by soul singer J.J. Jacson, but his recording of it wasn't released until April of 1967 for the Strike label in the U.K., as featured here.  Another version was released in March of '68 on the Warner Brothers down label, Loma Records, under the title Come And See Me (I'm Your Man). It's more than likely that a demo was shopped around by the publisher and The Pretty Things picked up on the so-rare-that-it-wasn't-even-recorded soul number, and made it their own. I'm willing to bet that this is a new one to most On The Flip-Side readers. This writer MUCH prefers The Pretty Things take on Come See Me, but I'll let you decide.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Under The Covers: Leaving Here by The Birds and Eddie Holland

The Birds
Leaving Here! This is one of those songs that can be done by just about anybody and it will still sound great. It's just one of those songs. Leaving Here was first recorded by Eddie Holland for Motown in December of 1963. Eddie Holland's name may sound familiar, despite the fact that he had only a brief frontman career for Motown. Eddie was the lyricist for one of THEE most potent songwriting teams ever -- Motown's house composers, Holland-Dozier-Holland. Eddie was the lyricist behind the label's biggest hits such as Heatwave, Baby I Need Your Loving, How Sweet It Is, Stop In The Name Of Love, Baby I Need Your Lovin'....Ah, hell, you get the picture. I could go on and on with the songs he wrote and produced of which you know every frickin' word. But back to one of his lesser known songs....

Leaving Here got picked up early by mod kings, The Who. They recorded it two or three times and did a pretty damn good job of it too. But none of the recordings ever made it to vinyl. From The Who the song was picked up by Ron Wood and his bandmates in his first band, The Birds. (nope, not The Byrds, but The Birds). Ron Wood substantially rearranged the song and turned it into a barre chord burner with a nice 1 and 1/2 step down twist for the lead guitar riff. The band released it on Decca on the 30th of April, 1965. While an obscure recording, The Birds version inspired many other covers of the song by artists as diverse as Motorhead, The Morlocks and The Cracked Jaffers. Pearl Jam, it should be noted, clearly covers The Who version. 

Eddie Holland

Enjoy. We'll see you next time On The Flip-Side!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Under the Covers: R.I.P: I Pity The Fool by Bobby Bland and Davy Jones and the Mannish Boys

Two posts in as many hours. And for very good reason. We just learned that Bobby Bland has died. He was 83. Major bummer. Great, great, great voice.

To go with this week's theme of Under The Covers, we're presenting Bobby Bland performing his 1961 stunner on Duke Records, I Pity The Fool. It's, in my humble opinion, Bobby Bland's greatest recording of many great recordings he made in a career that started in Memphis, Tennessee way back in 1955. Not only does the song kick ass on it's own rights, but it inspired the catch phrase from brilliant actor, Mr. T! You can't go wrong with that.
Bobby Bland
We first came to this record from a very mediocre version performed by Davy Jones and the Mannish Boys. The blonde haired ace-face of a mod front and center on the sleeve would soon change his name to David Bowie and would go on to more original works.
The Manish Boys
We did a post on Bobby Bland's 1960 song, I've Been Wrong So Long way back in 2011. You can listen to that kick ass song here

R.I.P. Bobby Bland. We'll see you On The Flip-Side. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Song of the Week: Sir Douglas Quintet - I Don't Want

I don't know a whole lot about the Sir Douglas Quintet. They were always a bit of an enigma to me. Particularly when viewed through my garage and punk glasses that filtered much of my view of life many years ago. They were always in the same record bins with groups like the Left Banke, Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds, but they never seemed to have that stuck-in-time sound those other bands had. In other words, in my self defeating myopic way I couldn't easily peg their song as being from 1966 (cool) or 1969 (not cool). Maybe with one or two exceptions. The organ heavy She's About a Mover was obviously a cool gem that appropriately reeked of it's recording date. Despite their unpredictability, I would occasionally pull out the Mendocino album and put it on. Oddly it has the aforementioned She's About A Mover re-recorded 4 years after it first charted. It has the quasi-hit Mendocino with Augie Meyer's up-front organ pounding away and a number of other odd tunes with horns, fiddle, steel guitar and accordion that don't fit obviously together to form "a sound".

It should be clear to you by now that I am not being critical of the album or the band, but rather my way of trying to fit them into a category. The Sir Douglas Quintet were led by San Antonio, Texas child music prodigy Doug Sahm who began his recording career at the age of 9. He called upon country and western, swing, cajun, rock-n-roll, blues and Mexican norteño to form what would become the corner-stone of the flowering Tex-Mex scene. A style of music that pulls together a mosaic of sounds to form a wholly new one.

Despite repeated listenings, the album never quite grabbed me. Then one day a San Diego drummer named Dave Klowden suggested to his bandmates, The Tell-Tale Hearts, while sitting in a Winchells Donut shop at 1am that they cover I Don't Want from the Mendocino album. I couldn't even think of the song. I went back to listen to it and realized it was a brilliantly understated song. Sahm's powerful vocals are matched by Meyer's smooth coating of organ and Sahm's own gentle doubled guitar work that is as melodic as anything you'll hear. And at the 3:28 mark, the song takes a decidedly different avenue to wrap the number up. The guitar pushed to the fore, the drums mixing up the beat. Way cool. As were other songs on that album like, If You Really Want Me To I'll Go, At The Crossroads and the pushing the VU into the red song, Texas Me. And the European version has other cool songs such as the New Orleans soul inflected gem, A Nice Song.

Give I Don't Want a listen and let us know, by way of comment (below), how you like it. We love hearing your thoughts. Below is a video of the San Antonio quintet performing their 1965 hit She's About A Mover. I do believe that this is one of Jack Hayden's favorite songs ever.

Have a great week. We'll see you on the flip-side.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Song of the Week: Justin Townes Earle - Hard Livin'

[originally posted, March, 2011]

At 28 years of age, Justin Townes Earle has already put out four albums, has the stage presence of the most confident artists and the baritone voice of a man who has lived many more years than he actually has. In fact, the stories of his life would indeed suggest he has added a few years to his frame.

Justin Townes Earle just won the Americana Music Award's song of the year for 2011 for his standout number, Harlem River Blues. We've already featured his live performance of this song on the David Letterman Show. That live performance substantiates everything I've already said about him.

Today's SoTW comes from JTE's second disc, The Good Life. The song is called Hard Livin' and it is a fun romp of a song. Deft acoustic guitar work, fiddle and a great melody propel this song along nicely.

Enjoy, and remember, we live for comments.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Song of The Week: The Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling

Good morning world. As regular flipsters know all too well, our articles tend to focus on more obscure music from garage bands of the 60s. But as Summer sets in and bands tour relentlessly all across the globe, we thought we'd look at a few modern bands we dig. One can't just sit in their music library and spin dusty grooves by themselves. One needs to get the heck outside and see some live music. Plus we think it's a good transition from our previous post where we gave some space to California musician Jeff Stovall to help him record his solo album (check that out if you can). 

Today we feature the ubiquitous dynamic duo of a band from Akron, Ohio, The Black Keys. I've had the very nice pleasure to see them twice. Once, so early on in their career that their set was only about an hour long, included tepid Beatles covers and they commanded an audience of 60 people, at best. Then again, I saw them right after they started to break. They played a much larger venue, had three albums under their belt and played a solid set of originals and a few tasty R.L. Burnside numbers. The band has changed sound on every album (after their initial two releases on the tiny Fat Possum Records). But the common theme on the timeline with the band is great quality work. Great songwriting, great production, great performance.

The band is so universally solid from album to album and song to song that it was hard to choose exactly which song to pluck from the rest. Today we feature a song from their latest album on Nonesuch Records, the damn near flawless, El Camino. The song is Gold On The Ceiling and we hope you enjoy it. It has a nice little T-Rex arrangement which we dig. Go buy the album, go see the band. If you want. Not trying to bully you or anything. 

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Original Song Project: Jeff Stovall - Middle Lila

Willets, California singer/songwriter and Original Song Project veteran, Jeff Stovall, kicked off his Kickstarter campaign today and we at Flip-side are dang excited.  Check out his campaign here and meanwhile you can listen to his song Middle Lila below. It's a demo of one of the songs that he will be featuring on his first record. We encourage you to get behind this incredible talent.
Until next time, see you on the flip-side!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dunwich Records: The Del-Vetts - The Last Time Around and Everytime

Last Time Around

Day 7 -- yes, 7! -- of our look at Dunwich Records, man!
We'll I'm sitting here sinking on deeper down.
My head is a' spinning around and 'round.
I can't seem to shake this feeling.
Oh, My body is a rockin' and a-reelin'.
Oh' it's such a funny feeling
that I know this is the last time around for me, Oh yeah, 
Oh, I'm sinking on sinking on deeper down.
My eyes are blood and I can't hear a sound.
Fight it! help me fight it.
Because I know this is the last time around for me. 
Oh Yeah! This is another Mount Garagemore record from Dunwich and one that I was very pleased to add to my personal collection. Today we look at The Del-Vetts. The Del Vetts were Jim Lauer on vocals and lead guitar, Bob Good on rhythm, Jack Burchall on bass and Roger Deatherage on drums.

Their debut single in June of 1966 was an original composed by their friend, Dennis Dahlquist who penned a kick ass Yardbirds inspired song called The Last Time Around. Production is perfect as is Lauer's vocal delivery and Better Man Than I inspired guitar break. Jeff Beck would have been proud. Special shout out to the bass work of Jack Burchall whose work on this song truly inspired me to learn every note of what he did with his fast running fingers. This single was released just days after the Things To Come released I'm Not Talkin' and just two months before The Banshees set Project Blue upon the record buying public and The Shadows of Knight released Bad Little Woman/Gospel Zone. You see why I love this label?

While Last Time Around was a solid regional hit, the follow-up, I Call My Baby STP, which came with a nice pic sleeve and an STP Oil sticker as part of a quasi-ad campaign, was a flop. (but the flip is respectable) It turns out that was the last time around for the Del-Vetts who went from one bad name to another as they inexplicably changed their name to the lame-ass Pride and Joy, whose lone Dunwich release, Girl/If You're Ready, was highlighted just days ago. Jim Lauer allegedly went the way of Roky Erickson and Syd Barrett. Play it loud and enjoy.

The Flip-Side is solid as solid gets and thus we include it here. Also penned by Dahlquist, the number is the rather peppy, Everytime. Another kick-ass guitar solo from Lauer. I love how you can hear someone cue them back into the verse after the guitar solo. Low-fi, baby.

Sit back and listen to all seven posts in tribute to Dunwich Records out of Chicago. I think you'll get it pretty quick. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dunwich Records: The Warner Brothers -- Lonely I

Day 6 of it's Dunwich, man! From the music mecca of Peoria, Illinois, we have today, The Warner Brothers. They were brothers Larry and Al Warner and they released a number of singles from the early 60s to the early 70s. But only one single on the legendary Chicago label, Dunwich. Lonely I is a real raver of an original with Larry busting it with full force. 

We hope you enjoy and we'll see you next time On The Flip-Side!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dunwich Records: The Shadows of Knight - I'm Gonna Make You Mine and I'll Make You Sorry

I'm Gonna Make You Mine
I'll Make You Sorry

Day 5 of It's Dunwich, Man! As is evident from my last four posts, I love the Dunwich Records label out of Chicago, Illinois. Mostly small, obscure, one-off recordings of bands that popped their head up seemingly from nowhere and disappeared back in their hole just as quick as a whack-a-mole at a pizza parlor game room. That is not the case with today's feature, The Shadows of Knight. They were different. They were stars in Chicago. 

The Shadows of Knight were formed in the hallways of an Arlington Heights, Illinois High School (the school nickname was...the Knights. Get it?). After a few early mutations and instrument swapping, the band settled into the line-up of Jim Sohns on vocals, Warren Rogers on Bass, Joe Kelly on lead guitar, Jerry McGeorge on rhythm guitar and Tom Schiffour on drums. In early 1966, The Shadows of Knight would soon release the first ever Dunwich record. Their cover of Them's Gloria. Now we all know all three chords of Gloria and can sing every word in our sleep, but you may not know it if it weren't for the SoK. Long story short, Gloria was the Flip-Side to Them's first US single, Baby Please Don't Go. The SoK picked it up, cleaned up some suggestive lines, and, believe it or not, scored a certifiable hit with the song. It was largely after the SoK version charted sporadically around the country (Dunwich couldn't press enough to get it out at one time nationally) that the Them version was rediscovered. The band was rushed into the studio where they put together a largely blues cover album. One of only two bands to get a full length player on the Dunwich label.
Just 10 months after Gloria hit, The Shadows of Knight had released one LP and were releasing their fourth excellent single on Dunwich. It is this release, from October of 1966, which we feature both sides of today. This is a real double-sided gem if there ever was one. The A-Side is the power chord heavy, I'm Gonna Make You Mine which never saw an LP release. Lead guitarist, Joe Kelly, puts on the fuzz, turns his Gibson ES335 up to 11, and never lets up. The sexually suggestive, sexually aggressive lyrics are rather surprising for an A-side release in '66: 
I'm Living mean, That's how I live
I'm gonna take girl and you're gonna give
I'm gonna make you mine
I want you bad, so be prepared. 
But the Flip-Side, I'll Make You Sorry, is not to be ignored. And in some ways, maybe better. I'll Make You Sorry was written by Sohns and Kelly. But I think the real star here is rhythm guitarist Jerry McGeorge. That incessant three chord riff played on the Rickenbacker is just pure joy. I never, ever tire of it.

Credit where credit is deserved: I've nicked almost all of the photographs from a Joe Kelly fan site which can be found here.

We'll see you next time On The Flip-Side.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dunwich Records: The Banshees - Project Blue

"Oh Nooooo!" Day 4 of It's Dunwich Man! As we've stated in our three previous posts, Dunwich Records out of Chicago put out killer records and some spectacularly odd songs. Songs that are far from radio friendly. We already featured The Knaves anti-establishment number, The Things To Come 1000 mph version of I'm Not Talkin', and both sides of The Pride and Joy's lone output.

Today we feature perhaps the most crazed garage record ever put to wax! Man, that is saying a ton. Especially when we have songs like that by Australia's The Elois and Texas' The Outcasts. But I stand by it. Here we present Chicago's The Banshees doing their own composition, Project Blue. It was released in August of 1966. Any garage-O-file worth their salt has heard this song 1001 times (last week alone), but we can't let that stop us from giving them more love. This one is front and center on the Mt. Garagemore monument we have mythically built in our depraved heads. 

The Banshees were made up of singer Frank Bucaro, lead guitarist Ron Rouse, Rick Notolini on bass, John Smead on rhythm, and Tom Leetzow on drums. Lead guitarist, Ron Rouse gets writing credit for this. However, in the world's briefest interview over on, Frank Bucaro lays claim to co-writer credit. He wrote the Flip-Side of this single, the rather tame, Free

Musically speaking, this is -- and I use a technical musicologist term here -- fucking amazing. The lead guitar riff is a relentless, menacing, stabbing piece of testosterone that Angus Young could only dream of playing. You will never, ever, hear a better garage punk guitar riff. Ever. Ron Rouse, you are my hero for coming up with that and performing it so damn perfectly. Singer Frank Bucaro sounds nothing like he does on the rather tepid flip-side. (Yep, even us at Flip-Side HQ sometimes have to love the A-Side more.) On the rather cryptically named Project Blue, Bucaro screams so much and so loud you can damn near hear the blue veins popping out of his neck as he spits out "Come On Now!". There's not much to these lyrics, but man oh man, Bucaro delivers.
Oh Noooo!
I need your love baby, and I need it so bad, Yeah
'Cause your's is the only love that I ever had, babe 
I need your love baby, and only you know.
I need your love baby, and I need it more 
Your love, baby, I need your love, baby
Yeah love, oh! 
I need your love baby, and only you know. Yeah!
I need you love baby, and I need it more, love 
I need your love baby, and I need it so bad. Yeah
'Cause your's is the only love that I ever had, babe

Your love baby, I need your love, your love, baby
Come on Now!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh, come on
Let's be very clear. I would not let this man date my daughter.

If you go to that above linked interview, you'll see a picture of these cats. This is one of those things I love about 60s Garage Bands. They look so nice and clean cut. And then you get this out of them.

Like so many bands of their day, High School ended (yep, they were in high school when they did this number) and they disbanded. Some went to college, others to the military. The Banshees would scream their siren song no more. One depraved single is all we have of their existence.

We'll see you tomorrow with more Dunwich love, man. Until then, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dunwich Records: The Pride and Joy - If You're Ready and Girl

If You're Ready
It's day 3 of Dunwich, man! Today we listen to both sides of Dunwich 152. As we like to do, we've flipped the record over and are pimping the Flip-Side of the April, 1967 single first. The band is going by the god-awful name The Pride and Joy. But in reality this is The Del-Vetts (just as bad a name). They must have realized just how un-mod the name Del-Vetts was in '66 and tried, poorly, to rechristen themselves with the more "now" sounding name of Pride and Joy. Regardless of what they called themselves on any given week, we dig them. We've highlighted the Del-Vetts in the past with their über-nugget, Last Time Around/Everytime on Dunwich. Check out that post (please) to learn more about the band.

Girl/If You're Ready was the last song recorded on Dunwich by Jim Lauer and the rest of the band. And what a great song it is. This sometimes gets overlooked by collectors because of the ill-advised name change, but it's a real gem. Both songs are written by Dennis Dahlquist (who also wrote Last Time Around).

If You're Ready starts with Lauer's familiar sounding fuzz guitar and then it rolls into his plea to a no good woman to let him be free. Lauer's lead guitar skills get a nice little moment before the song rolls into a double time, harmonica driven close. The Yardbirds would be proud.

Girl, is far more pop, and thus makes sense on the A-side. A nice number written, again, by Dahlquist, we find Lauer now singing his heart out to (probably) that same woman who appeared on If You're Ready. But now he is real smitten by the girl. Dude, which is it?

Enjoy them and we'll see you tomorrow On The Flip-Side.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dunwich Records: The Things To Come - I'm Not Talkin'

Day 2 of our Dunwich Records love fest. Like yesterday's highlighted band, The Knaves, The Things To Come hailed from the suburbs of Chicago. Specifically Wheaton, IL. The band -- who clearly got their name from a Yardbirds song, recorded the Mose Allison (by way of The Yardbirds) number, I'm Not Talkin' and two other numbers at Sound Studios in Chicago. The hyper-aggressive I'm Not Talkin' got the A-Side on this July '66 release, while the flip-side was a real nice jangly original called Till The End. It came replete with some Keith Richards styled lead work. 

Bill Traut, trying to make the band "more British" apparently went so far as to change the names of most of the members. From the website, Turn Me On Dead Man:
Ken Ashley's real name was Kennith Utterback, George Heatherton was Richard Cureton and Keith St. Micheal was Thomas Keith Mirabile. It was thought by the label (Bill Trout and Dunwich) that having English sounding names would be a advantage. The only one who had the advantage was the drummer Cliff Harrison who survived the name changes.
 We'll see you next time On The Flip-Side.